Results & Report: Castle Mountain Resort Ski Mountaineering Race – January 11, 2014

The 2nd annual Castle Mountain Resort (CMR) Ski Mountaineering Race (Skimo) is in the books. 29 racers joined in the fun with 14 volunteers in support. The representation in all divisions (Recreational & Competitive, Junior & Masters) was a particularly positive outcome.

The recurring theme for the pre-race track setting and Skimo race was wind.  Of significance in relation to the wind is the hard work of CMR’s Mountain Safety Operations (MSO). These professionals had a mountain(s) to keep operational and they managed that plus, they were oh so accommodating in support of the Skimo event! Huge kudos to the MSO group and CMR Management for their support throughout the weekend.

The Skimo route as depicted on the race poster morphed four times between Friday afternoon and the eventual start of the race at 11:00AM Saturday.

Track setting on Friday by volunteers was obliterated likely as soon as the track was put in. A volunteer was blown over on Friday in the alpine. A snowmobile reconnaissance into the alpine early on Saturday morning returned with a very white and windy report. A key takeaway for race organizers of future Skimo events with high wind is that route pin flags should be zip-tied to tree branches, bushes, boulders, and snags. That way they won’t blow away to Lethbridge and Skimo won’t be seen to litter.

CMR’s MSO staff and Skimo organizers met a number of times to discuss what effect the wind was having on their operations and the Skimo route(s).

By 10:00AM (the race was only delayed an hour) it was decided to do two laps on the Huckleberry and Haigh Ridge terrain, with the competitive division doing two laps and the recreational division one full and one shorter lap. The competitive division racers ascended/descended approximately 4168’ while the recreational division racers ascended/descended approximately 3168’.

The skiing and boarding public witnessed the race start. Racers skated right by the day lodge in front of the Blue Chair. It was cool to field inquiries from the public during the race start and from the Huckleberry terrain enthusiasts. Everyone wanted to know what was going on! Some folks thought this was a great idea and others were dumb-founded that people would climb when there are lifts.

During the awards ceremonies racers and volunteers alike reported that the event was a good one despite some minor delays and route changes. Divisional 1st, 2nd & 3rd place male and female finishers jumped up and stomped on the new Ski Mountaineering Competition Canada Podium.

FULL RESULTS: 2014CastleMtnResults

The Castle Skimo organizers, racers, and volunteers gratefully acknowledge the support (in cash and/or in product) of the following sponsors;

  • Secure Energy Services,
  • MEC
  • Ortovox Canada,
  • Voile.

Thanks to all racers, parents, partners, spectators, media, and volunteers. Thanks again to CMR management, mountain safety operations and to the entire Castle community for embracing Skimo.

Respectfully submitted 2014-01-13
Castle Skimo Volunteer Race Director
Brent Harris